Farley & Loetscher Manufacturing Company, 1948 to 1953
I wish you could’ve talked to my wife. She knew a lot more about Farley & Loetscher than I do. Her name was Ann Marie—her maiden name was Sullivan. Ann was the private secretary to Fred Loetscher. She passed away in March.
I met her in the nurse’s office down at Farley’s and.… Well, I might as well tell you the whole story. I worked nights on what they called the door bench. It was repairing doors and seeing that they were in good shape before they shipped ‘em out. So, I was glazing doors one night and I got a piece of glass in my finger. I went down to the nurse’s office and Ann was in there. I’d never met her before. She was a great friend of the nurse down there and, anyway, somehow or other, I don’t know why—maybe the nurse asked for my address or something—but Ann heard I was from Peosta and she laughed and made fun of it because, why, she was from the big town of Farley. In those days Peosta was a just a church and a post office, not like it is today. So we got talkin’, you know how people go—they make fun of each other’s town. So that’s how I first met her. The second time was at a tavern in Centralia. I was stopped in for a drink after work, sitting at the bar and Ann and her girlfriend, they came in. They were gonna have a drink too. So, well, you know how things go, like a big dummy I said to Ann, “You gonna buy me one, too?” That was only the second time I met her! She said, “Well, sure, I got paid today, I’ll buy you one.” Well, we got talkin’ and then I said what was she doing the next night—that was the Saturday before Labor Day. I asked if she’d go out with me and she said, “Sure.” So, the next night we went out to Melody Mill to a dance and had a hell-of-a good time. And, by god, I took her out the next night. Then on Labor Day, I had a boat and I asked her if she’d like to go boat ridin’. She said she was kind of afraid of the water and I said, you don’t have to be afraid of it ‘cause I’m not gonna dump ya. So she went and that’s how we started going together. One year later, the sixth of September, we got married. I was about twenty-five and I think she was … she was born in 1931 so, she’d been about what? Twenty-one?
I worked at Farley’s another year or so. I got to work on special order doors and that was the best job anybody could ever have. But then they changed from wood to plastic and I could see the writing on the wall that they wouldn’t be around for long. And well, plastic wasn’t for me. So I quit and went to the Pack and then Ann quit when our first child was born. Farley’s was a good place to work then. I really liked it. I’d have never left that place if they’d ‘ve stayed with wood.